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Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles’ takes critical step toward staffing a new Family Advocacy Center to be located in San Tan Valley
 
Date: 7/12/2013
    
Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles’ takes critical step toward staffing a new Family Advocacy Center to be located in San Tan Valley
Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles’ takes critical step toward staffing a new Family Advocacy Center to be located in San Tan Valley
 
FLORENCE, AZ (7/12/13) – On Wednesday, Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles attained the approval for three full-time positions that will staff a new Family Advocacy Center to be located in San Tan Valley.
 
The funding for these positions was included in the fiscal 2013-14 budget approved by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors on June 19, 2013.
 
A family advocacy center serves to assist victims of sexual assault and aid in the prosecution of offenders by ensuring victims receives respect and dignity, performing forensic interviews and medical exams in a child-friendly and safe environment, minimizing trauma and re-victimization of multiple exams, and provides counseling and advocate services to assist victims and their families.
 
Currently, the Family Advocacy Center in Eloy is the only location of its kind within the entire county. As such, the areas of San Tan Valley, Florence, Apache Junction and many other Pinal communities and municipalities currently travel over an hour to receive services and care offered at the center.  In reality, far too many sexual assault victims go unreported due to the distance required for them or a family member or friend to drive.
 
Pinal County Attorney Voyles spent the last several months working with various organizations, including Winged Hope, an Arizona-based non-profit operated by Jessica Nicely, to plan for a family advocacy center in San Tan Valley. Winged Hope will provide funding to either purchase or lease the yet to be determined facility.
 
Pinal County Attorney Voyles thanked the Board of Supervisors for their understanding of the need for these positions to assist sexual assault victims and said, “San Tan Valley and Northwest Pinal County remain vastly underserved when it comes to helping victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.  Working closely with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, Jessica Nicely of Winged Hope and several other departments within the county, I proudly announce this significant step forward in bringing this center into reality.”
 
Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “The most populated part of Pinal County has long been under served. This family advocacy center will improve our response to victims and strengthen our criminal investigations against suspects of the most serious sexual and violent crimes. I’m proud of Lando for leading this effort to meet this critical law enforcement need.”
 
Jessica Nicely, CEO/Founder of Winged Hope Family Advocacy Foundation said, “As a survivor of child abuse myself, I regularly hoped that people like Sheriff Paul and Lando Voyles existed, not just fighting for justice against perpetrators, but working to provide the most beneficial and healing services to the victims. I am honored to be working alongside them and their respective teams!”
 
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Jim Knupp
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